Emulators in Games
This is page is about licensed games that have interesting emulators in them that were exploited to play other games not originally intended.
- 1 Nintendo 64 Games
- 2 Dreamcast Games
- 3 GameCube Games
- 4 PSP
Nintendo 64 Games
Goldeneye 007 (ZX Spectrum Emulator)
In GoldenEye 007 for N64, there is a fully-functioning ZX Spectrum 48x emulator that nobody knew about until 2012. The game also has 10 ROMs in it too, all of which were made by RARE. You can read more about it here.
Download: Patch (Replace with pre-patched version if you can)
Pokémon Stadium GB Tower (Super Game Boy Emulator)
Using the Transfer Pak with Pokémon Stadium in GB Tower mode, you could connect physical Game Boy cartridges of the handheld Pokémon games and play them on the Nintendo 64. It turns out it is software emulation that can boot many Game Boy games in SGB mode as well as GBC games, but with a whitelist for just the three games it officially supports.
Someone here managed to circumvent enough checks to boot modified GB ROMs on Game Boy flash cartridges, with a vanilla Transfer Pak and unmodified copy of the US version of Pokémon Stadium. For now, there's not much useful tools released, but a romhacking project for the N64 game could disable these checks (considering they're documented), and even have the ROMs directly on the cartridge for far easier injecting.
One notable thing about this emulator is that it contains an alternate revision of the CGB bootstrap not found anywhere else.
Sega Smash Pack Volume 1 (Megadrive Emulator)
This was a compilation of Genesis games for the Dreamcast. It featured a Genesis emulator and a plain-text document on how to use it. You can read the full story about it here.
Download: Sega Smash Pack - Echelon
The Legend of Zelda Collector's Edition (NES / Nintendo 64 Emulator)
This was a compilation disc including the NES and N64 Zelda games in emulated form, albeit with occasional crashes and analog sensitivity being a tad more than what it should have been like.
NES emulation was present in Animal Crossing too, with modified FDS bios images and no iNES headers and only support for some mappers. The real interesting part is the N64 emulator. It was extracted in standalone format and a custom rom injector made for it.
Compatibility is very low, with only these games confirmed working: Super Mario 64, Mario Kart 64, Star Fox 64, Kirby 64 (partially working), Zelda: Majora's Mask, Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Zelda: OoT Master Quest, Duke Nukem 64, Mace: The Dark Ages, Wave Race, Star Soldier, Pilot Wings. Possibly other games too.
Download: Nintendo 64 Emu
Pokemon Channel (Pokemon Mini Emulator)
This is a game for GameCube that contained a emulator for playing Pokemon Mini games. Hackers removed the emulator to make a stand-alone Pokemon Mini emulator for GameCube, and because of their efforts later Pokemon Mini emulators were made by reverse engineering it.
Download: SHizZLE's Pokemon Mini Emulator
Pokemon Box: Ruby and Sapphire / Naruto Collection (GBA Emulator)
These compilations try to convince users that they stream GBA games through a Link Cable to play them on a GC screen. They require the GBA cartidges too, however in fact the full data for all the cartridges needed is in the GC disc, as well as a working GBA emulator, developed by Nintendo even for third-party games using it.
Compatibility is poor though - both the ROM files and the emulator are heavily modified. When the extracted ROMs are played on regular GBA emulators, or regular GBA ROMs are injected in the compilation (it doesn't support 32MB ROMs), games do play but suffer a variety of glitches mostly involving sound.
Twinbee Collection (SNES Emulator)
Pop'n Twinbee, originally a SNES game, was included in this compilation. It was emulated. However, the emulator itself is hacky. While the game ROM hasn't been altered, it was instead fragmented to four individual pieces. This practice was used with the "I Love Mickey Mouse" emulated Saturn re-releases of Mickey/Donald Megadrive games, with the ROMs similarly divided.
Going through the trouble of taking a regular ROM from the exact same size and replacing it in the compilation (for example Tiny Toons Adventures) reveal the emulator can handle it well with occasional graphical glitches, and controller problems.
PC Engine Collections (PC Engine / PC Engine CD Emulators)
Hudson Soft helped with designing the original PC Engine console (known as the TurboGrafx-16 in the US) back in the nineties and developed lots of exclusives for it. They also re-released many of those on compilations for the PSP, later released as standalone PS3 compilations on Japanese and Western PSN. These compilations are top-notch emulators with many scaling options, and injecting other games is easy.
For standard PC Engine cartridge releases (HuCard), the following compilations can be used as surrogates:
- Soldier Collection PC Engine Best Collection
For PC Engine CD games, the following compilations can be used as surrogates:
- Soldier Collection PC Engine Best Collection
- Far East of Eden Collection
- Ginga Oujou Sama Densetsu Collection
Dump the UMD to ISO format with the method of your choosing (like CFW), and open the ISO's contents with UMDGen.
The game images are usually under the directory
- PCE HuCard Cartridge games: PCE files. Exact same as No-Intro dumps.
- PCE CD-ROM² games: folders named something like
HCDxxxx(usually the release identifier). HCD/AT3/BIN files are inside, which are in fact a regular PCE-CD ISO in CUE/WAV/BIN format (TOC files are also used) with the WAV sound files converted to the native PSP audio format (AT3). Instructions about how to convert them can be found here in Japanese, and here's a mirror to the pceconv tool used.
- BIOS file: SYSCARD3P.PCE, needed for CD emulation. Should not be replaced.
Rename your ROMs (HuCard games) or ISOs (CD games) to match the internal filenames, and drag and drop those in UMDGen to replace the existing files (confirm overwriting existing files). You can delete the PMF videos used by the collection's gallery mode to make the ISO smaller. When you're done go to File and Save as ISO (CSO is smaller but doesn't play well on real hardware).
You can do the same with standalone PSN releases of TG-16 games which were made available as well on the PSP/PS3/Vita PSN. You just have to sniff the PKG, extract it, decrypt it and replace the PCE files or ISO dumps just like with the other collections. After that you just have to re-encrypt them and put the files on your console to play those. More detailed instructions are here.